Community on the hunt for Pokémon in Craig Chamber contest | CraigDailyPress.com

Community on the hunt for Pokémon in Craig Chamber contest

Game runs through September at local businesses, on social media

Betty Barnes, holds up a Pikachu card by the counter of Loyd's Cleaners as part of "Pokémon GO MoCo," a contest sponsored by Craig Chamber of Commerce. The game has been a fast success as community members collect the characters and points, with hundreds of dollars in Spree Bucks at stake at the end of the month.

Dozens of unusual creatures are on the loose in Northwest Colorado, hiding out in local businesses, and to the people most dedicated to finding as many as they can will be a big prize.

Craig Chamber of CommerceCraig Chamber of Commerce recently launched “Pokémon GO MoCo,” a contest based on the “Pokémon” franchise that over the past two decades has included trading cards, video games, TV shows, movies and most recently, the “Pokémon GO” mobile application. recently launched "Pokémon GO MoCo," a contest based on the "Pokémon" franchise that over the past two decades has included trading cards, video games, TV shows, movies and most recently, the "Pokémon GO" mobile application.

Craig Chamber of Commerce recently launched "Pokémon GO MoCo," a contest based on the "Pokémon" franchise that over the past two decades has included trading cards, video games, TV shows, movies and most recently, the "Pokémon GO" mobile application.

However, despite sharing a name with the successful but controversial app, the Chamber's version does not require a smart phone to participate.

Paper cutouts of Pokémon — a portmanteau of "pocket monsters" — have been spread out at multiple businesses in Craig. Those playing the game can visit each location, hunt down a Pokémon and collect the points.

There are 23 local sites participating in the contest: Bank of the San Juans, Kester Jewelry, Clarion Inn & Suites, KS Kreations, Chaos Ink, Loaf N Jug, Community Budget Center, Loyd’s Cleaners, Craig Daily Press, Masterworks Mechanical, Downtown Books, McDonald’s, The Embroidery Shoppe, Miller Family Appliance, Flint Personnel, Murdoch’s Home & Ranch Supply, The Flower Mine & Gift Shop, TLC Carpet One, Hatten Enterprises, Spirit Pass, Jackson’s Office Supply, Union Wireless and Wyman Living History Museum.

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Business and Craig Chamber will keep a running tally of points and participants as the contest continues throughout the month of September, and the Chamber's Facebook pageChamber’s Facebook page will also serve as a forum for players to post selfies. will also serve as a forum for players to post selfies.

Chamber's Facebook page will also serve as a forum for players to post selfies.

Winners can receive $300 for the most total cards collected; $200 for the most points in Pokémon value, as well as social media engagement; and all players who collect at least two Pokémon will be in a drawing for $100.

"All the prizes will be in Spree Bucks, and those are a good way to make sure the money stays in the community," said Christina Oxley, the Chamber's executive director.

Betty Barnes, owner of Loyd's Cleaners, said she was unsure what the game would be like at first but has loved seeing the amount of foot traffic and kids who come in to play.

She's already had to restock her Pokémon supply after one week.

"It's been a lot of young people, not really people you'd expect to see in a dry cleaner," she laughed. "It's a neat way to draw some enthusiasm and promote local businesses."

The tough part of the promotion catching on so quickly, Oxley said, has been turning down some of the businesses late to the game.

"We've had people saying, 'next time you do something like this, we want in,'" she said, adding that she's on the lookout for another pop culture theme for future contests.

Adrie Camp, who's organized the event for the Chamber, said such community contests can create an increase in revenue either immediately or down the road as players associate their need for various services with businesses that are engaged in the community.

"Even if it's not directly leading to getting more business, it's leading to opportunity for more business," she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.